Over the final few weeks of the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers juggled health with keeping positive momentum heading into the postseason. The bulk of the concern lied with Walker Buehler and Justin Turner, both of whom spent time on the 10-day injured list in September.
Turner was slowed by a left hamstring strain that sidelined him for two weeks. He sustained the injury on a stolen base attempt Aug. 28 and after missing the remainder of the series agains the Texas Rangers, was put on the IL four days later.
There was initial hope Turner would play in a three-game set at Chase Field during the second week of September. A potential return was then pushed back to a weekend series against the Houston Astros, but he remained sidelined through that as well.
Turner also missed the series opener at Petco Park before being activated. Given the delays and unpredictable nature of a hamstring strain, it led to some concerns Turner’s injury was more serious than believed.
However, he explained getting hit by a pitch in the left hamstring a handful of days before the strain is what caused more trouble. “It was kind of a two-fold thing,” he said. “It was kind of like a combination of getting the bruising out of there.
“It was one of the better bruises I’ve had; I’ve had a lot of them. Right in the back of my hamstring, and then it started draining down the back of my knee and it started draining down my calf. It was trying to take care of that and come back from the little tweak in the hammy as well.
“I probably recovered faster from the tweak in the hammy than I did from the bruising that was in the back of my knee and hamstring.”
The Dodgers eased Turner back into the lineup by having him start as the designated hitter for his first few games. Turner was scratched the night he was scheduled to play third base for the first time since returning, but started in the field throughout the entire Freeway Series to close the season.
He came out of that stretch without issue and is prepared to play a full game at third base as the Dodgers begin their Wild Card Series matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
Roy Campanella Award winner
Dodgers uniformed personnel voted Turner as the winner of the 2020 Roy Campanella Award, making him the franchise’s first three-time recipient. Clayton Kershaw and Chase Utley have each eanred the honor twice.
“It’s a credit to Justin. I think when you’re talking about coaches and players that vote for that award, your peers and respect from them, that’s really important,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“That’s what players always take away from when they’re done playing. Justin understands what it means to not only be a professional athlete and have a platform and do things the right way, but also what it means to be a Dodger.
“When you’re talking about how you go about your day to day, preparing, making people around you better, playing the game the right way, he just encompasses all of it.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!